Letter to the Clerk of the Deregulation and Regulatory
Reform Committee from the General Secretary of the Police Federation
of England and Wales (dated 2 August 2001)
Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Special Occasions
Licensing) Order 2001
Thank you for your letter dated 19 July 2001 concerning
the Regulatory Reform order to be considered for New Year 2001/2,
and the concerns specifically expressed in respect of usage of
the Police Power enacted in October 2001.
I would like to endorse the statement made in the
letter of 1 April 2001 in which the Federation stated its support
for the Special Occasions Licence covering both New Year and Her
Golden Jubilee. Such support remains firm as does our submission
for further deregulation of licencing hours in general.
However, the Federation's
view on the practicalities relating to Section 17 of the Criminal
Justice and Police Act 2001 is less enthusiastic and was expressed
at the time of consultation.
In answer to your question we do have concerns as
to implementation. Experience would suggest that rowdy or disorderly
behaviour, particularly New Year's
Eve, does not seem to manifest itself in residential areas
being mainly in town/city Centre bars and 'fun'
On a practical basis police officers would attend
a complaint of this nature and 'risk
the likelihood of compliance before seeking the authority, and
if necessary back up further officers, by way of report to the
inspector rank. The inspector must assess the situation before
taking the authoritative steps of closure, as contained in the
In short, whilst my colleagues may well now have
a power granted by Parliament, the practical and discretionary
aspects of policing will as ever prevail in the compliance and
calming of a given situation. Usage of this power being a last
I hope my reply gives sufficient confidence to the
Committee in answer to concerns expressed. Should we be able to
help further please do not hesitate to ask.